Carers at Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme have had their hard work recognised at the Great West Midlands Care Awards.

As well as their work going above and beyond during the Covid-19 crisis, Employer Belong also took home a regional Social Care Hero Team Award.  

The special award, assessed by an independent panel of adjudicators, applauded Belong’s handling of the pandemic across its seven villages and home care services in the Midlands and North West, with judges praising a team with “a culture of transparency” and innovating to promote the wellbeing of residents and colleagues during very challenging times.   

Belong’s win is based on prioritising the safety of customers and colleagues, whilst always working toward a Covid-free organisation, despite financial challenges that have impacted the sector. Notably, strong management, the early procurement of PPE and innovation in using technology are all key factors, as is the dementia care specialist’s commitment to creative activities to keep customers’ spirits up and provide a vibrant community atmosphere for everyone. 

Picking up the Care Home Worker Award, carer Samuel Evans’s passion for care was described by judges as “very evident, despite not being in the sector very long. He was born to care and this came across very strongly.” 

There was also good news for one of the village’s chefs, Nathan Wilshaw, who was highly commended in the Care Home Chef/Cook Award category for his person-centred approach to his work, with judges characterising him as “an inspiring man with a clear vision and an outstanding caring nature.” 

Both of Belong’s wins will go forward to the Great British Care Awards national finals in September.   

Peter Norman, general manager at Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme, said: “We’re delighted to win such prestigious awards which recognise the efforts of our colleagues. It really is a testament to their hard work and dedication through what has been an incredibly challenging period – well done to everyone.” 

In related news, since the coronavirus outbreak started, the not-for-profit operator has been re-accredited as a Gold Investors in People, with assessors praising Belong’s empowering leadership style, high-quality communication and the positive impact of its culture on resident outcomes achieved during Covid-19.

Pictured: Belong colleagues and Tracey Stakes, Belong Chief Executive (third from right), with their Social Care Hero Team award

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